CJP Bandial refuses
to interfere in Punjab
CM election issue

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ISLAMABAD: At the very outset of the hearing of the National Assembly (NA) deputy speakers ruling case on Thursday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial made it clear that the Supreme Court (SC) would not interfere in the election of Punjab chief minister and would restrict itself only to the deputy speakers ruling and the dissolution of NA.

You can go to the Lahore High Court (LHC) for the redressal of your grievances,the CJP remarked while addressing the Advocate General of Punjab (AGP) who said that he wanted to bring this thing to the notice of the apex court that situation in the province was very tense.

Punjab Assembly

Blatant violation of the constitution was committed when Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly (PA) Hamza Shehbaz was crowned as a chief minister at a ceremony at Lahores Falettis hotel on Wednesday, he said, and added, Even former Punjab governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar convened provincial bureaucrats meeting. And today, he is to take oath from the de facto CM Hamza at Lawrence Garden.  

Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel said that yesterday he had watched it on television that the Punjab Assemblys building had been sealed. What you are doing in Punjab, he asked angrily.

Dont make a speech in the courtroom, CJP Bandial said, and directed the advocate general Punjab to submit a written reply in the case.

A sudden change of heart by Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari to convene the Punjab Assembly session through an order on a plain paper further complicated matters for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its coalition partner, the PML-Q, who are struggling to get their combined nominee, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, installed as chief minister of the province.

Going against his party line, Mr Mazari had late on Tuesday night superseded his earlier order to postpone the assembly session till April 16, and re-summoned the PA on Wednesday. The fresh order went viral and the opposition braced itself for the much-awaited election of the Punjab chief minister. However, minutes later, the Punjab Assembly secretariat termed the deputy speaker’s order ‘fake’ for not having been issued by the secretariat, and claimed the session would be called on the 16th. However, the PML-N-led opposition doubted the chief minister’s election would be held even on that day. They said similar steps were being taken by the PTI in Punjab the way interim premier Imran Khan had ‘trampled’ the Constitution at the Centre.

With the opposition announcing to converge on the PA on Wednesday to ensure the session was held, the provincial government sprung into action and cordoned off the assembly building with barbed wires, and deployed heavy police and Rangers contingents. Water cannons and emergency rescue service were put on high alert in case of an imminent clash between the government and opposition workers.